Juventus and Chelsea hero Gianluca Vialli has revealed that he has recovered from pancreatic cancer after undergoing a gruelling 17 months of chemotherapy.
Vialli – who joined Chelsea from Juventus in 1996 and became player-manager two years later – has told of his relief to have been given the all clear after tests did not detect any further sign of the illness.
“I am fine,” Vialli said in an interview with Italian outlet La Repubblica.
“In December I finished 17 months of chemotherapy, one cycle of eight months and another of nine. It was difficult, even for someone as tough as me, both physically and mentally.
“The tests showed no sign of the illness. I am happy, even if I say that under my breath to be on the safe side.
“Regaining my health means seeing myself in the mirror again, seeing the hair grow, not having to draw eyebrows on with a pencil. In that respect, I feel very fortunate compared to many others.
“I think of those brought to hospital and forced to die alone, their relatives not allowed near in case of contagion, funerals that could not be celebrated. It’s terrible. This crisis will leave enormous scars on the country; emotional, moral and economic scars.”
Vialli, 55, sent some words of positivity amid the spread of the global pandemic, and said people must be focused on a bright future once it has finished.
“In this enormous silence that surrounds us during the lockdown, there is almost a Zen atmosphere.
“We can hear the birdsong even in the megalopolis of the big city, see how quickly the smog cleared, even after some chose to mock that wonderful young girl, Greta Thunberg.
“It will be wonderful when football and sport return, as emotions and memories will help us to get back to living our full lives.
“I just hope we maintain this capacity for solidarity in future and expand it. Keep backing the healthcare workers, these generous people of incredible physical and mental strength. Let us not forget them, when this is all over.”
Vialli led Juventus to the 1996 UEFA Champions League title following a penalty shootout win against Ajax.
At Chelsea he won the FA Cup, League Cup and the now defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup.
He made his debut with the Italian national team on 1985 and made the squad to the 1986 and 1990 World Cups before retiring from international football in 1992.
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